Wednesday, September 10, 2008

A Secular Constitution?

Al Cronkrite sent me his latest article for Etherzone, "WHY THE COMING ELECTION IS MEANINGLESS AND WHAT CAN BE DONE ABOUT IT." He makes some good points about Sarah Palin and John Ashcroft. But he falls prey to the atheistic lies of the ACLU and the myth that the federal Constitution is "secular."

He says,

When our forefathers incorporated freedom of religion into the Constitution they tacitly created a secular government.
... it was a secular creation that shunned God's Law and championed human wisdom.

By saying this, Cronkrite is allowing himself to be a pawn of the ACLU. Not a single person who had anything to do with the creation of the Constitution would agree with Cronkrite's claim. None of them intended to create an atheistic government. They knew how this could be done, but they did not choose to do this. This is evident by comparing the American Revolution and the French Revolution.

Daniel Dreisbach, writing in the Baylor Law Review (48:927), notes:

     The framers resisted the temptation often encountered by architects of new orders and indeed, the course adopted in the French revolutionary constitution, which was to institute a wholly new calendar dated not from the birth of Christ but from the revolutionary moment. The new French calendar commenced with the "autumnal equinox, the day after their republic was proclaimed."[note omitted] The French, of course, went much further in stripping the public calendar of religious holy day; the Christian Sabbath, for example, was abolished and replaced by a festival every tenth day.[n.o.]
     The constitutional mention of the lordship of Jesus Christ . . . was ascribed great significance by selected nineteenth-century commentators. In this slight but solemn reference, [Jaspar] Adams . . . concluded, "the people of the United States professed themselves to be a Christian nation."[n.o] Elaborating on this point, Adams argued that the word "our" preceding "Lord" "refers back to the commencing words of the Constitution; to wit, 'We the people of the United States.'"
     [I]f the Constitution was deliberately secular or hostile to traditional religion, the reference to Jesus Christ could have been avoided. [The Framers] could have just as easily omitted the reference to Christ in the dating clause. It cannot be denied, therefore, that the date denotes that Christ was, perhaps subconsciously, a reference point for the architects of an ambitious new order. [note 183: In response to those who dismiss the assertion that this clause is a "persuasive argument for the Constitution's Christian character," one commentator has asked what would the "discerning scholar" say "if the clause had read: 'Done . . . in the year of Baal (or Astarte, or Buddha, or Reason, or any other false god) . . .'?" Such language, no doubt, would provoke a "commentary on the nature and implications of the religious-philosophy signified by the clause."]

To say that the Constitution is "secular" and mandates an atheistic government (one that will not publicly and officially acknowledge a duty to God, and will not endorse or promote belief in God) is like saying the Book of Esther in the Bible is an "atheistic" book, simply because the word "God" is not found even once, or because the Book itself doesn't say "This is a theistic book." One has to examine the context. The U.S. Supreme Court examined the context of the Constitution, and concluded that America is a Christian nation: Holy Trinity Church v. United States (1892).

Having said that the federal constitution is not secular, there can be no doubt that the men who created the Constitution would abolish it if they were here today. It is a meaningless relic. It has completely failed in its task of limiting, checking, balancing, and separating powers. It ought to be forthrightly abolished so we can squarely face the political reality before us. Based on how it was sold to the American people, and the promises made concerning it, the Constitution is a total failure. But that is not due to the fact that it is atheistic or was intended to impose atheism on the nation.

Cronkrite continues:

God's Law was not incorporated into our founding documents and as a result our nation is living under an evil legal system that allows sinful men to control the functions of government.

Every single founding document in the nation incorporated God's Law. See the recitation of founding documents in the U.S. Supreme Court's "Holy Trinity" decision.

For example, the Delaware Constitution, Article 22 (adopted Sept. 20, 1776), reads:

Every person who shall be chosen a member of either house, or appointed to any office or place of trust . . . shall . . . make and subscribe the following declaration, to wit: "I ________, do profess faith in God the Father, and in Jesus Christ His only Son, and in the Holy Ghost, one God, Blessed for evermore; and I do acknowledge the holy scripture of the Old and New Testaments to be given by divine inspiration."

Delaware would not have ratified the federal constitution if the Constitution had claimed the power to alter (especially to secularize!) Delaware's oath of office. None of the states would have. They demanded that the federal confederacy have no such power. The First Amendment was designed to preclude what the ACLU claims: federal power to secularize.

Further, the whole concept of "enumerated powers" meant, as Madison put it,

The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government, are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will, for the most part, be connected. The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State. (emphasis added)

In what way did the Framers of the federal constitution "shun God's Law" in the areas of war and foreign commerce? Those are the only areas where it COULD have shunned God's Law.

The entire myth of the federal constitution creating a "secular Republic" is based on a complete and total failure to understand the founding concept of federalism. The Tenth Amendment and this page need to be understood.

Some will say that the federal constitution doesn't make adultery and homosexuality a crime. This was completely outside its intended jurisdiction and authority. Such arguments are completely ignorant of the concept of federalism that governed the creation of the Constitution.

The ACLU has ignored the Tenth Amendment and the concept of federalism. It has made the federal government a centralized leviathan of atheistic power. Christians like Cronkrite cannot counter the ACLU's doctrine of atheistic leviathanism by pointing to a provision of the Constitution which makes it a Christian Leviathan, so they concede the claim of atheistic leviathanism to the ACLU.

Big mistake.

The Constitution did not create a leviathan, either Christian or atheistic. The Constitution is so extraordinarily limited in its power that it doesn't have an in-your-face Christian tone. That power was retained by the States. They exercised it.

Imagine that you and I join a bowling league with 100 other people. Everyone who wants to go bowling signs an agreement that says they will abide by the rules of the sport and return their rented bowling shoes to the desk before they leave. The agreement does not mention Jesus Christ. Now suppose years later someone tries to claim that the bowling agreement was intended to govern our schools, our employment, our family lives, our recreation, our churches, and our markets, and the obvious omission of Christ's name from the bowling league document is clear evidence that we all agreed to transform our entire culture from a Christian society to an atheistic one, by giving the teenager at the front desk who passes out the bowling shoes the power to remove all acknowledgement of God and Christ from public display, so that atheists will not be offended by our free speech.

This is about as ludicrous as the ACLU claim (accepted by the Supreme Court) that the federal Constitution was intended to give the federal government power to order local schools to remove the Ten Commandments from all classroom walls.

Christians must not concede these claims. The Founding Fathers would describe the doctrines of the ACLU and Supreme Court as "absolute lunacy."

And "wicked" to boot.

For further reading, see A Godless Constitution?: A Response to Kramnick and Moore.

Finally, Cronkrite warns:

There will be no progress against evil until Christians understand that immoral law is the problem and God's Law is the solution.

Very true. Nobody who had a hand in framing or ratifying the Constitution would disagree.

But also very false. We had good laws 200 years ago. They were based on the Bible. They did not and could not have saved us. The State and its laws will not save us. God's Law -- adopted by the State -- is not the solution to evil. If the State were completely obedient to God's Law, it would disappear. The solution to evil is regeneration.

2 comments:

Samuel Skinner said...

You don't seem to know what secular means. Secular doesn't mean they elimination of religion- that would be extreme antitheism.

Secular merely means that the government is not connected with religion in any way, shape or form. Given the first amendment of the United States of America (not to mention the condition they were breaking away from), it is quite readily obvious that they were aiming for a secular constitution- after all, back then people didn't think of themselves as Christian... well, they did- they just didn't view all the other sects as worthy of being called Christian.

The reason that the constitution has been heavily changed is due to the American Civil War- with that the government once and for all established its sovernity.

The Bill of Rights did not apply to the states when it was ratiffied. It wasn't till after 1868.

It is pretty obvious when you realize that Jefferson concidered one of his biggest accomplishements to get a freedom of religion act passed in Virgina! He listed in on his tombstone.

The tenth amendment says
"The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people."

Did you not read the last part? FOR THE PEOPLE!

The fact of the matter is that the government established its right to be a leviathin in 1865 and 1954- the first when federal power was shown to supercede ALL local power and the second, which showed the government has the power to over ride and declare state laws null and void. In fact, that was the entire idea behind the civil rights movement and the Civil Rights Act of 1968.

You argue against a strong federal government and you argue FOR state's rights and segregation.

The original constitution created a government that was powerful enough to ignore its own courts, raise taxes, conquer a continent, make a national bank and more. It was hardly weak.

... and you strawman the ACLU- they don't require removal of all religious imagry and declarations- they just can't be on public property or on public time. Civil Servants are paid to do their jobs, NOT tell people they are damned, and if they wish to do it, they can do it on their OWN property and their OWN time.

If you hire a person to cut your bushes, would you be pissed if they wanted to build a shrine on your lawn and spend their time converting people? The same goes for the government- their job is to serve the people, NOT their own beliefs or ideologies.

Kevin Craig said...

Thanks for taking time to comment, Sam. I mean that sincerely. I also mean this sincerely: you're a victim of educational malpractice. You're not alone; America's founders would consider the vast majority of today's Americans to be victims of educational malpractice.

In your first paragraph you say I don't know what secular means; that it doesn't mean elimination of religion. Then in your last two paragraphs you say secularization only means the elimination of religion in public.

That, of course, was the model of Stalinist Russia.

I'm against government-imposed segregation, even by the states.

The Civil War was evil, and so is the modern use of the 14th Amendment.

I can't tell whether you're for big government or against it. I can't tell if you're for the Civil War -- the needless slaughter of 700,000 Americans and the centralization of federal power and overthrow of the Constitution -- or against it.